Charbonneau Outlines State Action to Curb Meth Abuse

State Senator Ed Charbonneau
State Senator Ed Charbonneau

A local elected representative says Indiana is losing the battle with drugs.

State Senator Ed Charbonneau expanded on some of the steps the Indiana General Assembly is taking to help curb the use of illicit substances in the Hoosier State. Indiana is ranked at the top of the nation for meth-related arrests over the last few years.

He says among the first steps was increasing the penalties for infractions for those found in possession of large amounts of the substance.

“One of the bills that we passed was allowing that person who had all that stuff for no good reason to be tried as a dealer, extending penalties also,” says Charbonneau.

Manufacturers use the ingredient pseudo-ephedrine in their meth products. The agent is found in common cold remedies that can be purchased over the counter.

The legislature found itself with a choice to punish law abiding citizens by requiring a prescription to access medicines with pseudo-ephedrine, or simply try another approach to limit access for potential drug offenders.

A pilot program run through Fulton County seems to have provided a successful answer for the state as a whole. Charbonneau says the ability to purchase may be left up to the pharmacist.

“Starting last year, and it dropped the unlawful abuse of pseudo-ephedrine something like 43-percent,” says Charbonneau. “I think one of the reasons was that people understand that they’re going to be looked at.”

Charbonneau says there are additional steps being considered in the Hoosier state that will take time to implement. Those include education and treatment options for those afflicted with drug addiction.

For now, Charbonneau says these steps are not designed to stop illicit substances from entering Indiana from out of state, but to control manufacturing taking place in Indiana.